• Rob Hornberger

Town seeks public input over new developments, proposed road east of downtown

Updated: Apr 5

Main Street report recommends building height, design and density restrictions
A house at 45 Spruce St. N. sits in the path of a proposed road linking Spruce to Woodycrest Avenue. The road would service a proposed development west of Kingsville District High School.

KINGSVILLE — Kingsville council wants to hear from the public before deciding on official plan proposals that target sections of Main Street currently under development pressure.

The Central Main Street East Secondary Plan proposed by town administration looks at four properties — the high school which is expected to be sold once the new school opens in 2024, vacant land immediately south of the high school, land behind a new condo development west of the school and 45 Spruce St. N.

Councillors learned Monday that the property on Spruce would be part of a road linking the street with Woodycrest Avenue to the east and a future development on vacant land behind the condo development.

Coun. Tony Gaffan said he couldn’t support the secondary plan without input from residents who would be affected by the new road.

“It’s a good report, we’re looking at the future, but … when we’re dealing with people in this area, and I’m talking Spruce Street, Beech Street, Augustine, Pulford, Woodycrest, they need notification. They shouldn’t have to find out that there’s a possibility of a development In their backyard … a road in their backyard or a road in their front yard.”

Mayor Nelson Santos said the proposed road was recommended by the town’s Main Street Development Policy Review Committee as a way to ease traffic congestion along Main Street.

The report recommends density and height restrictions and requires a higher-level design from developers so new construction blends with the existing streetscape.

He said the secondary plan for the four properties would ultimately be incorporated in the town’s official plan.

“The policy itself, the official plan language that was presented, never really had an introduction to the public until tonight,” he said in an interview.

Richard Wyma, the town’s director of community and development services, said the secondary plan introduced Monday includes other recommendations made to council by the Main Street review committee and involve issues like building height and density.

Other areas of concern addressed by the committee included the large number of access points on to Main Street, loss of Kingsville’s small town feel and zoning issues.

In his report to council, Wyma said the secondary plan for the four properties is part of a broader look at the entire length of Main Street, from the Kratz Sideroad to Heritage Road, and the commercial section of Division Street.

The report recommends density and height restrictions and requires a higher-level design from developers so new construction blends with the existing streetscape.

It also formally requires that new development be no more than three storeys and that stores and offices should be at street level with residential on the upper two storeys.

Town planner Robert Brown told council that existing zoning in Kingsville still allows for medium- and high-density development.

He said language is needed in the official plan to prevent developers from arguing they have the right to build higher than the three storeys given existing zoning regulations.

Brown said the official plan override gives teeth to existing regulations on height.

“We’re taking that medium- and high-density consideration out … it’s capped at three, there is no ambiguity,” he said.

No date has been set for further public discussions.

“We heard from council tonight that we pull this out and get a little bit more input from the community on some of these Main Street policies that are tied to the secondary plan and the Main Street overlay,” said Wyma in an interview.

“It’s an opportunity to make sure we’re hearing fully from the community.”

Many of the official plan amendments proposed Monday where the result of work done the Main Street Development Policy Review Committee which had consultations and input from the public.

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